Scout asked, so here goes. Forgive the bad pictures--my tattoos are not in easily photographed places, at least if I'm the one wielding the camera. This stylized dragon was my first tattoo, way back in 1992. Artol (that's his name) is on my right shoulder. When I showed my mom this tattoo, she licked her finger and rubbed. She didn't believe that I had gotten the real thing. When I was little, I always liked my grandfather's tattoos, and I couldn't wait to get my own. Artol was my symbol for my ex-husband. I don't see the tattoo a lot, but I've thought of getting him covered. Despite the original meaning, though, I'm mighty fond of Artol, and I don't think I'll do anything else.
Told you these pictures would stink. As I'm not handy with programs that might let me flip this picture, how about you hold a mirror up to your computer monitor to look at this one? It's the number 13, my lucky number. Since I was young, I've had a soft spot for this number. Later I learned about 13 being a feminine number, and I grew to like it even more. I got this one in 1996 after I made my ex draw it in pen week after week. Johnny Cash covered a Danzig song "Thirteen," which was the inspiration for the location of this one.
This is a two-fer tattoo. Originally there was a Chinese symbol that I thought meant student. When several Chinese friends told me otherwise (um, try Saturday), I thought it was kind of funny. I got the original tattoo with my friend Sara, spontaneously in 1999, so I didn't have time to check that the symbol was correct for what I wanted it to mean. Lesson learned. After the ex and I separated, my friend and fellow knitter Annah and I got to talking about getting tattoos "fixed". She made an appointment, and after work one day in 2003 (or was it 2004?) we both got new tats over old ones. This is really just a design that the artist drew after tracing the original tattoo. I see so many different things in it: a mask (which being separated and later divorced allowed me to remove); a mermaid (which reminds me of my love of the water and of fairy tales); and a woman with her arms and legs spread open (which reminds me to embrace life and love).
There you have it. The funniest thing about having these is that I'm a conservative looking person--it's just the way I'm made. These bits of black ink reflect my inner self better than anything else about my body, I think. When my students get a look at these (usually in the late spring), they are often surprised, which amuses me.
Let me know if you posted pictures of your tattoos if you have them, or what you would get if you ever decided to ink up your skin.